Where do Tanner Houck’s contract extension talks with Red Sox stand after revelation?

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Before the Boston Red Sox's season began on March 28, team CEO and president Sam Kennedy revealed that the team was in extension discussions with some of its young players.

Recent comments from Tanner Houck suggest he could've been one of the players in negotiations with the front office. MassLive reported that the Red Sox approached Houck about an extension, but the two parties never reached a deal.

Kennedy shared that he was uncertain if contract talks would extend into the regular season, but shortly after the extension of Ceddanne Rafaela, Craig Breslow announced that the Red Sox were not close on any other deals. The front office's conversation with Houck could be amongst the tabled discussions.

“(We had) discussions, but we’re at where we are now," Houck said. "I put that behind me whenever we shook hands and said, ‘Let’s go out and win as many games as we can.’ The business side is the business side. If you go out there and throw 200 innings and make 30 quality starts, it’ll take care of itself."

Tanner Houck shares that Red Sox approached him with extension, but they never reached a deal

Houck is well on his way to those 200 innings. The righty has posted stunning numbers early in the season, and a looming extension could be a motivating factor. Houck has pitched to a 2.17 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 11 walks in 58 innings.

His stellar start to the season is punctuated by a 94-pitch complete-game shutout, during which Houck showed all of MLB what he's capable of. If the Red Sox lowballed him in their preseason extension talks, they might've made a huge mistake.

Boston has shown a tendency to make pitiful offers to extension and free-agent candidates in recent years. Teoscar Hernández declined an offer to play for the Red Sox because they offered him half of what the Dodgers did, and Triston Casas' representation has declined multiple offers from the front office.

Before his long-term rib injury, Casas planned to take the season to show the front office what they could miss out on if they don't sign him to an extension. Houck seems to be doing the same, and his dominance has earned attention across the league. He's pitched so well this season, he may price himself out of the Red Sox's newly small budget.

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